Linnea is four-and-a-half now and we met the woman who used to be our local librarian, before the library closed for refurbishments. We met her at the rehomed Singalong session in the church next door to the library, and she was delighted to see us. She sat down to chat to Linnea and very quickly she asked “How old are you?” and “How high can you count? Can you count up to twenty?”
Linnea, brilliantly, said “No, I don’t have twenty fingers. I only have ten.”
Some discussion of toes ensued.
Then the librarian asked “Are you going to teach her her times tables?” to which I said “I’m sure she’ll learn them when she sees they’re useful.” “Oh, because I learned mine and I can still remember instantly – instantly! – any of them.”
All I could come up with in response to that was “I can’t.”
Oh, and I showed her how to do the nine times tables on her fingers.
And then Linnea borrowed her fingers to make more sets of three and did some multiplying.
(Linnea is very focussed on three times four and four times three at the moment.)
I was struck by academic-testing-as-conversation, indeed.